In a significant development in light of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday directed the UP government not to take any coercive action against any individual that may force them to approach the Courts for legal remedies, for two weeks, i.e. till April 6.
In the past few days, various circulars have been issued by the Central government as well as the high court, advising people to avoid overcrowding and to remain in their houses.
With a view to ensure the same, a division bench comprised of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Ajit Kumar observed,
"due to serious threat presently to the society in the country due to pandemic disease of Corona Virus(COVID-19), it has become necessary to issue directions to the State Government to issue necessary circulars/directives to the various authorities including the District Magistrates of every district of the State and other Government Agencies and authorities not to take coercive measures or any exercise against any individual or body of individuals which may force them to approach the Courts for legal remedies and also to avoid any public gathering pursuant to any such proceedings like auction etc."
The bench said that it has become necessary in the interest of public at large and in the face of the fact that the disease is quite fatal one and may result in its third stage at any time in the country. "If still we remain oblivious to the fatal effect of the COVID-19, it would result into a panic situation in the society as while people should be more concerned of health issues will be unnecessarily forced to face litigation in the Courts," it remarked.
The observations have been made in a challenge to the recovery proceedings initiated by the state government against one Darpan Sahu.
While extending the interim stay order, the high court said,
"Today, there is an extraordinary situation in the country due to pandemic Corona Virus and therefore, it calls for an extraordinary measure to be taken to contain COVID-19. It is a situation where 'self quarantine' should be encouraged amongst people in the society in particular and the country in general."
Accordingly it ordered that directions be issued to all the concerned competent authorities, both administrative and non-administrative, under the State Government, "restraining them from taking any coercive measures against any person or body of persons in the society so as to force him/them to approach the Court for the redressal of grievance."
Notably, the Allahabad High Court has also decided to remain closed for the next three days, i.e. March 19, 20 and 21, for sanitization purposes.
Case Title: Darpan Sahu v. State of UP & Ors.
Case No.: Writ C No. 7014/2020
Quorum: Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Ajit Kumar
Appearance: Advocate Sudeep Harkauli for Advocate Anupam Laloriya (for Petitioner); Advocate Habib Ahmad (for Bank); AAG MC Chaturvedi assisted by Additional Chief Standing Counsel DK Tiwari and AAG Neeraj Tripathi assisted by Standing Counsel for the State SN Shukla
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